Beth Nilssen
November 2, 2013 / Industry News

I want to be a Franchisee: Step 13—How to Manage a Manager-run Business (pt. 1)

Thinking about becoming a franchisee? Excited about the opportunities out there but overwhelmed with what you need to know? Here’s the next part in our series of informational posts about how franchising works.

In the world of franchising, there are several ways franchisees manage their businesses. Some are full-time managers, either because their franchisor requires it or because of personal preference. Some are part-time managers, running their businesses while keeping their “day jobs” or enjoying retirement or raising children. And some are “absentee managers,” running their businesses with on-site managers and general managers. (Personally, I’m not fond of the phrase “absentee managers” because it implies that the franchisee is absent from the business, which is rarely the case. I prefer the phrase “manager-run” business.)

Great Clips franchisees often cite the fact that our industry—walk-in hair care salons—and specifically this company, is a manager-run business, as a reason they chose to invest in the Great Clips brand. This is not an absentee business because franchisees are responsible for managing the manager—but not managing the salon.

Here are a couple of articles that focus on managing a staff, especially in a manager-run industry like ours that tends to hire people in their 20s and 30s.

The Secrets Behind a Satisfied Franchise Staff

"The worst person to hire is not a bad employee; it's an OK employee. Why? If you get a bad employee, you figure out pretty quickly they're bad and get rid of them. If you hire someone who is OK, then at least they're OK, and you have too many things to do besides finding someone better, so you just leave them in the job. Mediocrity is a slow death."

I couldn’t agree more with this statement! Many franchisees say the biggest mistake they made when they were starting out wasn’t that they didn’t get rid of underperforming employees, but that they didn’t get rid of underperforming employees who didn’t care.

5 Tricks for Working With Millennials

“Perhaps the best piece of advice I can provide you is this: Display your vulnerability and own up to your own mistakes. Being authentic with a generation that prizes authenticity above all else is probably the single best way to manage Millennials.”

Many hair stylists who work in walk-in hair salons are in their 20s and 30s. They are creative people who most likely have never worked in a traditional office environment. Successful franchisees are the ones who hire the right managers and the right staff, and then, as this article recommends, use their management experience to set high expectations, reward great performance and show a bit of vulnerability.

More resources from the Great Clips Franchise Blog

Beth Nilssen By Beth Nilssen on November 2, 2013
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